DREAMS DEATH LOVE LIVING
February 9, 2011. I don't mean this to be dramatic or morbid but if I died today could I say that I've lived well. And more importantly could I say that I've loved well. You see today is the anniversary of my Father's death. Enrico Mordini died on this day many years ago, too many to even begin to want to count. And yet the hardest day of my life is also a day of inspiration. It is a reminder every year to ask myself am I loving enough? Am I Creating more love in the world, not just following love but leading the way for love as a Love Warrior so to speak.
For it's not enough to think about it or follow the leader in love it is also our responsibility to make more love in the world. Today more than ever! And yes for me this is also tied up in wondering on this date every year "is my Papa proud of me and how I'm loving my life." Would he think that I respect love enough to salute it every day (like a sun salutation)? I have to believe he is proud of how valiant my attempts are regardless of the results which are sometimes messy and pretty often imperfect.
Funny thing about death is that the anniversary keeps coming back every year and reminds us that we don't know how long we have on this earth. So if you are thinking about getting started in loving more, creating more love, talking to love, talking about love then you should get started NOW. Yesterday, in meditation I decided to turn up the volume of love in my life, mostly because I don't feel like I'm yet "doing" enough to promote love. If I am a Love Ambassador (kind of like a Lululemon Ambassador) I have to get out there and keep the "brand image" of LOVE on the forefront. I have to take more responsibility. So I have pledged to write/blog/meditate about love for 21 days in a row (the length of time some scientists agree it takes to build a healthy habit).
Those of you who know me might think this will be an easy love assignment for me, but being actively pledged to love is not easy. It is simple. Just not easy. That's a long time to be in love with love and maintain a fruitful, spiritually mature dialogue. I say this because when my Father passed away the first person I was angry with was Love. I screamed and cried and shouted at love in my thoughts and out loud, because I couldn't understand why love would take away the first person on this planet who loved me (along with my Mama too). Love seemed so unfair to me then. So you see I haven't always been on good terms with Love, we've argued before and sometimes it's not been pretty.
But here I am, ready to really try to be the Love Ambassador that I want to be and that will make my Papa proud. You see Love is a skill. If you practice love, move like love, think love, behave in a loving way then we're bound to get good at it, just like anything else we practice (sadhana) repeatedly over time.
Eknath Easwaren says it like this “Love is a skill, a precious skill that can be learned. There are many other skills that are useful, even necessary, but in the end, nothing less than learning to love will satisfy us. The saints and mystics tell us that life has only one overriding purpose: to discover the source of infinite love and then to express this love in daily living. Without love, life is empty; without love, life is meaningless. The only purpose which can satisfy us completely, fulfill all our desires, and then make our life a gift to the whole world, is the gradual realization of the Self (LOVE) within, which throws open the gates of love. We cannot dream what depth and breadth of love we are capable of until we make the discovery that this divine spark lives in every creature.”
And today as I dream of love I am just so grateful to breath and welcome a way that promotes living the biggest love possible. So happy am I to have another chance to love more! It comes down to a simple choice (here I really should tell you that my "not so secret" ulterior motive is to build an army of Love Ambassadors worldwide) and I'd like to recruit each of you. The oath is easy. You just say to yourself and then to everyone: I CHOOSE LOVE.
May you love yourself more, love your day more, love your life more! Silvia
THE JOY OF BEING A STUDENT OF YOGA
"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new." -- OG MANDINO
AUGUST 3RD, 2010 This practice of yoga has taught me above all else how to be a better Student of Life. No matter how you might judge me as a "yoga teacher" or "life coach" I can honestly say that my best skill set is of being an amazing student.
I AM TEACHABLE.
I never for a moment assume I know too much. Actually ever year of this practice I learn more and realize how little I actually understand. My time on the mat reminds me to stay thirsty for knowledge. It inspires me to get off my mat and apply this "TEACHABILITY" off the mat. And I do. Of course not without some lifted eye brows and sometimes harsh criticism from some folks.
I take great honor in saying every year I take time off from teaching and go to study with my teachers. I sit in the SEAT OF THE STUDENT an open vessel soaking in the open hearted wisdom of my teacher. This last week has been an amazing experience studying Vinyasa Yoga with a great teacher of yoga and life.
I have been inspired, and challenged and prodded and supported in new ways. I want to say thank you first to all those that would judge me for making time for myself to be a student. You too have been some of my greatest teachers. For without your friction I would not have had to dig deep to still do what I knew was best for me. And to all my students, friends, clients who have kindly supported me every year to keep learning I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my root chakra when it would get shaken and I'd wonder should I make time for me or not?
There are wisdom teachers everywhere and as Students of Life the point is to be open to seeing the teachings that surround us every day of our lives both formally and informally. Sometimes our most difficult teachers are our best teachers. And that's ok: pleasant, unpleasant, neutral. It's all good.
And finally what I hope everyone learns no matter your opinion is to step outside your comfort zone and KEEP LEARNING. Do not atrophy. REMAIN TEACHABLE.
Teachabiilty and being lovable are intimately linked as sweethearts.
May you all find the courage to expand your knowledge! With compassion and peace to you all, Silvia
PS - Join me for my certified yoga teacher training program starting October 15th, 2010 at total body yoga
WHAT YOGA BOOKS SHOULD I READ?
JULY 17, 2010: I get asked all the time what books I recommend for students of yoga. Well the list I personally suggest is as follows:
1. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,Swami Satchitananda or Secret Power of Yoga, Nichala Joy Devi (ALL TIME FAVE!)
2. Yoga The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness, Eric Schiffman
3. Jivamukti By Shannon Gannon and David Life
4. Yoga for Wellness, Gary Kraftsow, Penquin, 1999
Professional Ethics/Connecting the Heart of the Student:
5. Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship, Donna Farhi
6. Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Manual, John Friend
7. Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life, Judith Lasater
8. Anatomy of Movement, Blandine Calais-Germain
9. The Anatomy Coloring Book - Kapit & Elson
Pranayama and Breath:
10. The Heart of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice, Desikachar
Yogi Bare by Philip Self
The Language of Yoga by Nicolai Bachman (to learn how to pronounce stuff)
Yoga from the Inside Out by Christina Sell
A Path With Heart: A Guide through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life & Wherever You Go There You Are by Jack Kornfield
NOVEMBER 5TH,2009: Life gives us many opportunities to get stuck in the ills and discomforts of the past whether we are still upset with the guy who cut us off in traffic an hour ago or the crazy email from a colleague who threw us under the bus with our boss this morning or a lover who lied to us or we can even get upset with the weather. It doesn’t matter how long ago we harbor a grudge the point is that this type of thing sucks us dry of love energy and pulls us out of the present moment. So in the words of “Imagine we wake up and find that everyone has forgiven everything there was to forgive and instead of recycling the past, we could at last live FULLY in the present? We would all breath a sigh of relief. The atmosphere would be happier and many people would discover the wonder of living in the present moment instead of constantly investing huge parts of themselves in reliving events that are long past. Forgiveness is possible. It is NOT the same as condoning. It means not feeding anger for a wrong or slander. Forgiveness is the inner act of making peace with the past and of finally closing accounts.”
I understand this thing about accounts because this week I was interviewing banks to see about moving my business elsewhere. The main reason for moving would be because of poor service. Hey I forgive the last 7 years but it is now time to move forward. And the funny thing is that in order to open my bank account elsewhere I have to close it out where I’m at. It is the same with forgiveness otherwise we create suffering (a type of hell) for ourselves. As John Milton author of Paradise Lost says “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.” Or consider this beautiful story sent to me by a dear sweet friend from the book Saltwater Buddha:
A burly samurai once came to a Zen master and asked the master, "Sensei, please teach me the difference between heaven and hell."
"Why would I give an uncouth cretin like you such a high teaching,"
the Zen master said, in apparent disgust. "You're a worm. You're less than a worm. You're a stupid samurai."
Samurai were never treated this way in ancient
But the Zen master didn't flinch. (They never do.) He said to the samurai, calmly, "That, Samurai, is hell."
Suddenly, understanding the teaching, realizing that he was about to kill a holy man because of his own pride, the samurai's eyes filled with tears. He put his sword down and his palms together in reverence.
He bowed deeply.
"And that," said the master, "is heaven."
So today forgive a grievance, let go of a grudge and choose heaven right now. As Robert Holden says in the book Be Happy, “Forgiveness is the biggie when it comes to emotional well-being. Forgiveness is the awareness that nothing has happened to the essence of who you are. Sure, your self-image may have taken a battering, but that is not you. The past is over." Close the accounts my friends. It is that simple, just not that easy. I just want you to try. Love, Silvia
THERE IS A LIGHT
ANCORA IMPARO – These are the words of Michaelangelo when he was 76 years old. The translation is “I am still learning.” We are all students and as Anna Quindlen writes in “A short guide to a peaceful life” we are still learning every day how to be human. The learning is offering us a way to see the light!
Here is a writing by Thich Nhat Hanh titled Twenty Four Brand-New Hours from his book Peace in Every Step:
Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty four brand new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy and happiness to ourselves and others.
Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. Even the air we breath can be a source of joy.
We can smile, breath, walk and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment. This is an invitation to come back to the present moment and find peace and joy. Peace is every step.
So we keep learning. Even from simple stories like this one about 3 bowls of water:
Imagine there are 3 bowls of water. One is really cold on the left, one is normal in the middle, and one is really hot on the right. When you take your hand out of the really cold water and place it in the normal water in the middle, the normal water feels really warm. However, when you take your hand out of the really hot water and place it in the normal water in the middle, the normal water feels really cool. In both cases, one's perspective of "normal" is skewed by their own reality. Such is life. When we take our hands out of the madness, we recognize the normal temperature, the underlying reality. Love, light and peace.
So as we learn from the challenges of our life (the darkness) we are making progress towards our dreams, the light. The Alchemist answered “What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream.” So as we journey forwards towards the light of love we learn many lessons. But the point is to be so interested in our lives we want to keep learning! Love yourself, love your day, Silvia